Now this was a very pleasant surprise. As one of the biggest G.I. Joe: Renegades fans on the planet, I long for more opportunities for Renegades toys of any kind and the Black Dragon helicopter was one of my favorite vehicles in recent years. Yes, compared to how it was utilized on the show it was far too small, but it was sleek, had an awesome design, and some pretty fun play features at that.
This version of the Black Dragon is colored in a lighter COBRA blue and red and named the Sky Serpent. It’s not often we get truly new concepts as convention vehicles, and I’m glad to see this one, it’s a great looking aircraft and it looks pretty awesome in blue.
Like the original, the Sky Serpent has great swing-back wings with rotating VTOL rotors, an opening canopy and a button mechanism that opens bomb bays on the bottom and drops bombs. The play features aren’t super advanced, but they are fun. While many folks complain about the size of the vehicle as well, I actually enjoy it as it makes it easier to handle and fly around one-handed. It’s a solidly built vehicle with a fantastic design aesthetic and great looking paint applications. I really like it, and I like that the Club has at least somewhat developed a battle foil for the Conquest. I can see the Conquest and the Sky Serpent in a pitched dogfight (although the lack of air-to-air missiles might hurt the Sky Serpent’s chances a little).
Laser Viper Officer
This one was another surprise from the Convention. Not based on any real pre-existing character (though the color scheme seems somewhat Shadow-Viper like from the 2002 Real American Hero Collection) the Laser Viper Officer was released as a pseudo pilot for the Sky Serpent, and honestly he is an amazing looking figure.
The great Laser Viper parts build combined with this really cool dark blue and red paint scheme gives us an excellent addition to the COBRA roster, and a nice new commander for the Laser Viper corps. I’m a bit conflicted as I would have loved to have seen some inspiration from the 2001 Laser Viper (based on the 1991 Sci-Fi) though taking some of the aesthetics from the Shadow Viper makes a certain amount of sense as well, I suppose, even if the Shadow Viper was an Astro Viper, not a Laser Viper.
How many times can I type the word “Viper” in this review?
At any rate, while this figure isn’t one I would have expected, I find myself really enjoying the build and colors. His crazy laser gun (from the Rise of COBRA Sgt. Flash figure, I believe) is neat as well.
As mentioned, this figure comes with a removable helmet and huge laser gun, as well as technically coming with the Sky Serpent as well. Not a ton of accessories, but pretty good ones nonetheless.
I’m leery about buying vehicles these days, mostly because I don’t really have the space for them, but the Sky Serpent is a pretty awesome little COBRA aircraft, and the Laser Viper Officer is one heck of a cool looking pilot to boot. Greatly overshadowed by most of the BattleForce: 2000 elements, this little cadre of Laser Vipers has been a real pleasure to check out in hand and I think will end up commanding some serious interest down the road.